House Passes FOIA Reform, Presidential Allowance Modernization, and Additional Bipartisan Legislation

Published: Jan 12, 2016

WASHINGTON—Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed seven bills designed to make the federal government more efficient and accountable to the American taxpayer.

 Bills passed by suspension:

H.R. 1777, Presidential Allowance Modernization Act (Rep. Chaffetz, R-UT; Rep. Cummings, D-MD);

  • Amends and modernizes the Former Presidents Act of 1958 by authorizing a $200,000 annual pension for each former president and a $100,000 annual survivor benefit for each surviving spouse (currently set at $20,000).

S. 1629, the District of Columbia Courts, Public Defender Service, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency Act of 2015 (Sen. Johnson, R-WI);

  • Grants the District of Columbia judicial agencies authority to take certain administrative actions, such as collecting overpayments.

S. 1115, Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act (Sen. Fischer, R-NE);

  • Requires agency heads to work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress and the Secretary that lists all of the covered grants in the federal government, recommends which grants should be closed out, and explains why each grant has not been closed out.
  • Similar to Rep. Walberg’s bill, H.R. 3089, which passed out of Committee on July 22, 2015.

H.R. 1069, Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2015 (Rep. Duncan, R-TN);

  • Requires presidential library fundraising organizations to disclose information regarding donors who contribute more than $200 each quarter for posting by the National Archives.

H.R. 653, FOIA Act (Rep. Issa, R-CA; Rep. Cummings, D-MD);


Bills passed by recorded vote:

 H.R. 598, Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act (Rep. Walberg, R-MI) [413-0];

  • Requires agencies to report detailed cost and performance information on programs to OMB for a government-wide program inventory.

H.R. 3231, Federal Intern Protection Act of 2015 (Rep. Cummings, D-MD) [414-0];

  • Protects unpaid interns in the federal government against workplace harassment and discrimination, extending the same protections to unpaid interns that are provided to federal employees.